A couple of months ago I participated in a Twitter tasting party. Yeah, I didn’t know what it was either. I quickly learned that at a Twitter tasting everyone tries samples of a food while they tweet about the products with a group of like-minded folks. I’m not going to lie. It was a ton of fun!
This tasting happened to be forUNREAL™candy through Kitchen Play. I hadn’t heard of this candy before, and I quickly became intrigued by the information that was sent my way.
First, let me start out by saying – candy is candy. It’s not something any of us should be consuming in mass amounts, but there is a reason I welcomed trying out UNREAL™ products. This candy is proof that you can still enjoy a treat that isn’t loaded with HFCS, artificial colors and preservatives. I was even more impressed to learn that the dairy for their chocolate comes from pastured cows and the colorings for the candies are from plant sources such as beets and red cabbage.
After the Twitter tasting, I thought I might try using the candies in some baking for Halloween. I have to admit that I since we’ve cut out the majority of processed foods from our diet, I do miss using candies in making creative cookies and cakes. That’s not to say I don’t have a peanut butter cup on occasion, but I’m just not comfortable promoting a recipe that uses these things, moderation or not.
UNREAL™ sent me a few more bags of their candy coated chocolates (UNREAL 41 and 54) so I could try out a new recipe. (I love the colors of these chocolates. With the plum, dark green and yellows they are the perfect color profile for fall.)
I set out to make some whole wheat peanut butter cookies, and then added some pumpkin. This took the place of some of the butter, and made the cookies even more ideal for autumn. The chocolates baked up beautifully in the cookies. The result was a soft cookie with bites of rich chocolate that went well with the peanut butter and hint of pumpkin.
Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe
½ cup Demerara sugar (or raw sugar), plus extra for rolling cookies
½ cup mascavo (muscovado) sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
½ cup natural peanut butter (unsweetened, but salted)
¼ cup pumpkin puree (mine was from a fresh roasted pumpkin)
¼ tsp vanilla extract
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 to 3 1.5-oz packages of UNREAL™ 41 Candy Coated Chocolates
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, beat the sugars, butter and peanut butter for about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin, and blend in the egg. Add the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl. Mix just until all ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the candy coated chocolates depending on how many chocolates you like in your cookies.
Spoon out about 1 tbsp of cookie dough and roll into a ball. Roll the ball in raw sugar. (You don’t have to roll the cookies in sugar, but it adds a nice crunch to the baked cookie.)
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and slightly flatten the cookies with your hands. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are firm and the edges are browned. Allow to rest on the cookie sheet for about1 minute and then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 18-20 cookies.
Just about everyone I’ve mentioned this candy to is as intrigued as I was about the source and ingredients. If you have any questions, fire away in the comments. I think these candies are a great option for Halloween. You’ll find more product information below.
UNREAL candies contain:
No corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, artificial flavor, GMO’s or synthetic colors.
Responsibly sourced ingredients, including:
Traceable cacao beans from Ghana and Ecuador
100% sustainable and organic Palm Kernel Oil sourced from a sustainable and organic plantation in Brazil
Dairy from free-range cows pasture raised without antibiotics or added hormones
All natural origin colors, coming from plants like beets, red cabbage, etc.
30% less sugar, 60% more protein and 250% more fiber
UNREAL candies are offered at the same price as typical candy bars. Available at major retailers, nationwide, including CVS, Kroger, Staples, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs and many others, UNREAL prices range from $.89 to $1.29 for individual bars and $4.99 for the family sized bags
Disclosure:The candies used in this recipe were sent to me free of charge from UNREAL. I was not required to post about them and received no compensation for doing so. Thoughts and opinions on the product are my own.
Lori Rice is a freelance writer, recipe developer, food photographer and nutritional scientist. Fake Food Free is a creative outlet that allows her to connect with people from around the world who share a love of travel, food culture and cooking.